(as heard on FBi Radio)
Every new years eve as the clock ticks over, someone always manages to drop the cursory question about resolutions. It's unavoidable. Will you stop smoking, drink less alcohol or manage finances less like Alan Bond and more like Ellin Wood's lawyers?
The big one, of course, is that old chestnut about getting healthier; eating better and exercising more. It's true for most that we could probably afford to eat with a little more consideration to our bodies...after all, anything that allows you to continue to compete in marathon yum cha sessions and consume confit de canard can't be all bad..
So, with this in mind, while the year is fresh and the hope of achieving your new years resolutions hasn't yet exited stage left, here are a few places you should know about if you want to kick start a healthier lifestyle:
The Suveran 244 Oxford Street, Bondi Junction
You'll probably feel healthier just by walking into this rough-around-the-edges cafe and it's sister fruit & veg shop at the Woollahra end of Bondi Junction's Oxford Street. What makes this cafe different from other mung-bean munching cafes is that the food is free...From soy, dairy, gluten, flour, yeast, and yep, you guessed it, sugar.
Just because the food is 'free', doesn't mean it's free from flavour. The dine-in menu includes crêpes, pies, burgers and their famous sprouted bread (made from seeds that have been allowed to germinate before being pulverised, mixed with coconut oil and baked into a dense loaf of grainy goodness), and the staff are happy to field any questions about the food they serve as well as healthy eating tips.
Chocoholics take heart, there's something for you here too - in fact there's an entire fridge dedicated to chocolate (and no, that doesn't just mean 'carob' *shudder*). Still ticking the 'free from' boxes, Suveran's chocolate is high in pure cacao and also contains coconut oil, coco butter, currants, neem, cinnamon, liquorice root, macca, magnesium and fresh young coconut water - creating a more guilt-free chocolate fix than your average snickers bar.
The Suveran also sells frozen-fresh stews and other take-home consumables to inject a bit of health into your home diet, including drinkable clays and other detoxifying wonder goods.
Read more about The Suveran, including their cooking classes here.
The Chippendale Fresh Food Co-Op
20 Kensington Street, Chippendale
If organic fruit and vegetables are what you're after, then this is a great place to start.
Situated in the centre of university-town, around the corner from UTS, down the road from Sydney University and more importantly up the street from The Claire Hotel - this terrace house turned organic fruit and vegetable co-op was started out of a desire to support local growers; the need for people to reconnect with the food they eat; the importance of maintaining local and sustainable sources of food - not an easy feat when the co-op is based in metro-as-you-get Sydney.
Membership to this not-for-profit organisaion is just $50 a year per household and gives members and the public access to locally sourced seasonal food that is organically certified, chemical free or conventionally grown.
Find out more about The Co-Op here. (ed's note: At the date of publishing, the Chippendale Co-Op is on holidays until the 28th of January)
The Alfalfa House
113 Enmore Road Enmore NSW 2042
Another not-for-profit organisation fuelling the inner-west's appetite for organically grown, wholesome food. The Alfalfa House not only aims to provide organic food but there's also an emphasis on minimal packaging and therefore, waste.
The shop features a host of seasonal fresh produce as well as dried fruit, nuts, seeds, grains, rices, beans, flours, bread, herbs and spices, teas and coffees, macrobiotic goods, sea vegetables, soy and rice milk, juices, and chocolate.
The tip here is to BYO...well, everything. As a generally 'unpackaged' store, bags, jars and containers are all available for purchase, but the idea is to re-use and recycle containers to minimise the amount of wastage the shop is responsible for in the long run.
Reasonably priced organic grains such as super-grain-of-the-moment; quinoa (pronounced 'keen-wah' in white, black and red varieties may not be locally grown (unless you're living in Bolivia), but are nevertheless a great way to experience wholesome food, even on a budget.
Membership is just $20 a year, but you don't need join to shop here. Find out more.
Cam's Community Organics
p: 0424 984 662
If your excuse is "I don't have enough time to shop for organic food", and you live in Sydney's eastern suburbs, then Cam's Community Organics is your ticket to convenient organic eating.
Running on not much more than word of mouth for the past two years, owner Cameron Logan has been delivering organic and bio dynamic produce to eastern suburban homes in sustainable reusable wooden crates, complete with recipe and nutritional tips, for just $50 or $70 a box.
Taking organic fruit and vegetables often straight from the farm to your doorstep, the service isn't just about delivering the goods, but also sharing a bit of information with the consumer about just what to do with it.
"I have a couple in their 70's who buy a box each week. She recently told me that she loved mushrooms but didn't really know the best way to cook them, so I talked her through a few simple recipes and she was so excited the next week to tell me how well it worked!"
Crates can be customised according to what your needs are via text "Need more carrots this week, but no zucchini." and Cameron is happy to field any additional questions and provide tips on what's in the box via phone to customers...your own personal organic angel.
Cam's Community Organics runs deliveries on Mondays and Thursdays throughout the eastern suburbs.